Prohibits a person from operating a motor vehicle with children under the age of 8 in the front seat in most cases; makes limited exceptions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to prohibiting children under the age of eight from riding as a passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle except under limited circumstances
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this legislation is to prohibit a person from operating a motor vehicle with children under the age of 8 in the front seat in most cases.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1229-c of the Vehicle and Traffic Law is amended to prohibit any person from operating a motor vehicle with a passenger under the age of eight in the front seat.
A child under the age of eight may ride in the front seat if:
1. there are no rear seats;
2. a child safety seat or booster seat cannot be properly installed in the rear seat;
3. all rear seats are already occupied by other occupants; or if
4. medical reasons necessitate the child should not ride it the rear seat.
JUSTIFICATION: Preventable injuries are the number one killer of children (ages 14 and under) across the country. According to the Air Bag Safety Campaign, in the United State an average of 8 children are killed and 932 injured every day in motor vehicle related crashes,
Experts agree children are safest when buckled up and in the back seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that children are up to 20% safer when riding in the rear seat regardless of whether the vehicle is equipped with a passenger side air ban. Placing children in the back seat provides greater protection for head on collisions, the most serious type of crash, by getting children farther away from the point of impact.
New York State now requires all children up to age 16 to be buckled in both front and rear seats. In addition, children under age 8 must be properly restrained in a car seat or booster seat. We can further improve our child passenger safety standards by requiring young children to sit in the rear seat. This bill allows flexibility for large families and/or parents who may be transporting other children.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S4773 of 2011-2012 Referred to Transportation/A6477 Passed Assembly S2238-A of 2009/2010 Reported to
Codes/A4181 Passed Assembly S.291-A of 2007/2009 Referred to Transportation/A7470 Passed Assembly S.3980-A of 2005/2006 Referred to Transportation/A6917 Passed Assembly S.6910 of 2003/2004 Reported to Rules/A4648 Passed Assembly S.2196 of 2001/2002 Referred to Transportation/A4106 Passed Assembly
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: There are no fiscal implications.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become law; provided that any person who violates the provisions of subdivision 2-a of section 1229-c of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as added by section two of this act within the twelve months following such effective date, shall be subject to a warning but shall not be issued an appearance ticket and shall not be liable for a fine.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3512 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 5, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. O'BRIEN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to prohibiting children under the age of eight from riding as a passenger in the front seat of a motor vehicle except under limited circumstances THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 2, 5, 6 and 7 of section 1229-c of the vehicle and traffic law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 18 of the laws of 2005, paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 and subdivision 6 as amended by chapter 405 of the laws of 2009, subdivision 5 as amended by chapter 241 of the laws of 2007, subdivision 7 as added by chapter 365 of the laws of 1984, are amended to read as follows: 2. No person shall operate a motor vehicle unless all front seat passengers (a) under the age of sixteen are restrained by a safety belt; or (b) if they are under the age of four, by a specially designed seat which is either permanently affixed or affixed to such vehicle by a safety belt as required by subdivision one of this section, or in the event that the weight of such passenger under the age of four exceeds forty pounds, such passenger may be restrained (i) in an appropriate child restraint system as defined in subdivision four of this section used with combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts or (ii) by a lap safety belt in the event such vehicle is not equipped with combina- tion lap safety and shoulder harness belts or all the combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts are being used to properly restrain other passengers who are under the age of sixteen; or (c) if they are age four or older but under age eight, (i) are restrained in an appro- priate child restraint system as defined in subdivision four of this section used with combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts or (ii) are restrained in a lap safety belt in the event such vehicle is not equipped with combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts orEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04833-01-3 S. 3512 2
all the combination lap safety and shoulder harness belts are being used to properly restrain other passengers who are under the age of sixteen. NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE DEEMED TO SUPERSEDE THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF THIS SECTION. 5. Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision three of this section shall be punished by a civil fine of up to fifty dollars. Any person who violates the provisions of subdivision one, two, TWO-A, elev- en or thirteen of this section shall be punished by a civil fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars. In any prose- cution or proceeding alleging a violation of paragraph (b) of subdivi- sion one or paragraph (c) of subdivision two of this section, it shall be an affirmative defense that the passenger subject to the requirements of such paragraphs was restrained by a safety belt and measures more than four feet nine inches in height and/or weighs more than one hundred pounds. 6. The court shall waive any fine for which a person who violates the provisions of this section would be liable with respect to passengers under the age of eight if such person supplies the court with proof that, between the date on which he is charged with having violated this section and the appearance date for such violation, he purchased or rented a child restraint system which meets the requirements of subdivi- sion one of this section. Provided, however, that such waiver of fine shall not apply to a second or subsequent conviction under this section, NOR A VIOLATION OF SUBDIVISION TWO-A OF THIS SECTION. 7. The provisions of this section shall not apply to a passenger or operator with a physically disabling condition whose physical disability would prevent appropriate restraint in such safety seat or safety belt, OR TO A PASSENGER UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHT WHOSE PHYSICAL CONDITION NECES- SITATES THAT SUCH PASSENGER BE SEATED IN THE FRONT SEAT FOR MEDICAL OR SAFETY REASONS, provided, however, THAT such condition is duly certified by a physician who shall state the nature of the
[handicap]DISABILITY OR CONDITION, as well as the reason such restraint is OR REAR SEAT PLACEMENT IS inappropriate. S 2. Section 1229-c of the vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new subdivision 2-a to read as follows: 2-A. NO PERSON SHALL OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE WITH ANY PASSENGERS UNDER THE AGE OF EIGHT SEATED IN THE FRONT SEAT OF SUCH VEHICLE. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH PROHIBITION SHALL NOT APPLY IF: (A) SUCH MOTOR VEHI- CLE IS NOT EQUIPPED WITH REAR SEATS; OR (B) THE REAR SEAT CANNOT ACCOM- MODATE THE PROPER INSTALLATION OF THE CHILD SAFETY SEAT OR BOOSTER SEAT IN WHICH SUCH PASSENGER IS BEING TRANSPORTED, AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER, OR VEHICLE MANUFACTURER, OR CHILD SAFETY SEAT OR BOOSTER SEAT MANUFACTURER; OR (C) ALL OTHER SEAT POSITIONS ARE OCCUPIED BY OTHER OCCUPANTS; OR (D) SUCH PASSENGER UNDER AGE EIGHT IS EXEMPT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided that any person who violates the provisions of subdivision 2-a of section 1229-c of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by section two of this act within the twelve months following such effective date, shall be subject to a warning but shall not be issued an appearance ticket and shall not be liable for a fine.